October 2011 Inbox
Monday, October 10, 2011 | Comments
Following are comments we’ve received from readers about recent online and print news and articles. If you’d like to comment on an article, email edit@RRMediaGroup.com.
Missouri’s request for a narrowbanding waiver or extension should be a no brainer. They have shown due diligence in attempting to satisfy the requirements of the mandate, but are running up against the deadline limit.
If the FCC decides to play hardball and enforce penalties because of not meeting the actual Jan. 1, 2013, deadline, it will cause unwarranted hardships on the organization. In light of the financial strain being experienced at all levels (city, county, state and federal), not granting a waiver or extension would serve no real purpose and only add more problems and costs to an already complicated and expensive project. Nothing the FCC can do will speed up the project completion date. I know. We’re doing the exact same thing in Spokane, Wash.
John Larribeau
Electronic Communications Systems
Spokane City Radio Shop
Spokane, Wash.
If the FCC grants this one, just wait. There will be a truckload of requests for extensions. Those of us who have made the changes will be subject to interference from those in noncompliance after Dec. 31, 2012.
Those of us with public-safety systems in compliance should not have to suffer because others delayed in making the transition. They have had plenty of time to plan.
Hampton Stewart
Fire Service in California
What a joke — “DHS S&T Wasting Taxpayers’ Money Again” should have been the title of the article.
John Taylor
You could file this story away and follow it up after the first twister or flood, etc., that occurs in their city. Let us know how well SouthernLINC sites stood up with no AC power, pay-for service verification/network connection, and down time before restore.
Donald M. Balsamo
Alabama has an interoperability plan that was developed in 2007 to assure that all public-safety agencies in Alabama could “be on the same channel” in times of emergency. The largest user of iDEN technology — Sprint Nextel — has announced it is shutting down the Nextel nationwide network, which happens to be the same technology used by SouthernLINC.
So, the chief saved $500,000 by not investing in equipment that is in any way compatible with the state interoperability plan. Sprint is abandoning the iDEN technology in 2013. Could it be possible that Sprint recognizes that the wireless industry is now a convergence of voice and data based on an all-digital platform that requires 4G capability to meet the needs of public-safety users? Anybody want to venture a guess as to how well iDEN works for high-speed data? 
Burch Falkner
In response to “LightSquared Presents Filtering Technology” from Oct. 14
The quote “LightSquared has committed $50 million to retrofit or replace high-precision GPS devices in use by federal agencies,” troubles me. What about the thousands upon thousands of handheld, vehicle mounted (aftermarket) and vehicle mounted (original equipment manufacturer) GPS receivers currently in service?
There is a reliance on these consumer-grade units for life-safety applications such as OnStar, search and rescue, public safety dispatch, even netclock applications. Where is the interference mitigation for these users?
Why allow a new service to create interference then find a way to fix it when the FCC had historically acted to prevent the interference in the first place? Bad engineering, bad policy, bad decisions all around.
Steve Piotrowski
Interoperable Communications Consultant
Erie County
Buffalo, N.Y.
In response to “Tips to Avoid Sole Source Procurements” from Oct. 5.
Mr. Tusa’s comments speak to the spirit of the Project 25 (P25) standard. If P25 would have been similar to TETRA, then his comments would also speak to the reality of the standard. Unfortunately the North American reality is quite different.
I do not speak for the major P25 infrastructure manufacturer, and I am not a fan of the existing situation, but the facts are than many APCO 16 radio systems have purchased newer user gear, which typically is compliant with every option that the same manufacturer offers in P25 (with the exception of P25 Phase 2). Huge savings can be achieved by not having to replace their existing user gear at this time of fiscal constraint, and there also is the advantage of less disturbance to the users and their business due to the dual-purpose user gear.
Mr. Tusa does not comment on other aspects of this problem, such as over the air programming (OTAP), which is not even a standard feature in P25 and which the larger systems dearly like to use. This feature is only available if the infrastructure and user gear are purchased from the same manufacturer.
When all these are counted, it is not surprising that major system users prefer upgrades to “fork lift” replacements. The problem is not the users. The problem is the P25 standard, which allows for this situation to occur.
Dan Perlstein, P.E.
Lapp-Hancock Consulting
On this topic, DuPage, Ill., is fixed to do yet another change order, this time for a no-bid to get another Motorola Solutions radio that can be found as being listed in any state contract … the APX-XE and other purposes. About 407 percent increases in change orders seem not to be quite enough.
Steve Rauter
Executive Director
Western Will County Communications Center (WESCOM)
Plainfield, Ill. 

Click here for the September 2011 Inbox.
Click here for the August 2011 Inbox.
Click here for the July 2011 Inbox.

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